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Apple’s put its M1 chipset into everything. The new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the new 24-inch iMac join the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini with the M1 chipset.

No sign of a beefier M1 Pro or Plus or whatever the next upgraded chipset might be called. But also no 27-inch iMac, implying it might be in line for a bigger specs bump.

iPad Pro:

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro got the full round of updates: along with the M1 chip comes a Thunderbolt port, 5G. a wide-angle selfie camera that tracks and follows subjects in view, and now has up to 16GB of RAM and up to 2TB of storage though it is insanely expensive. 

Apple now calls the updated display its Liquid Retina XDR, which is the new Mini-LED tech, coming soon to more consumer electronics.

The 11-inch iPad Pro also got the specs bump but crucially misses out on the updated display, and seems to be left out in the cold a bit.

iMac:

The 24-inch iMac was given a full revamp, the first refresh for the iMac since 2012.

It has a new thin style, new colors, four Thunderbolt ports, Ethernet in the charging brick. It starts at $1,299, and has a Touch ID keyboard accessory.

Actually it’s so thin, at 11.5mm, that it seems like Apple couldn’t fit a headphone jack on the back, as they need around 14mm of depth. Therefore, it’s sort of oddly stuck to the side.

It finally has a 1080p webcam in a Mac, something Apple touted as “its best ever” but really, really, really, should never have stuck with poor 720p webcams in its Macs this long.

Also, the bottom bezel is still pretty big, and not even one USB-A port, nor microSD port, means dongle life continues. 

Apple TV 4K:

Finally given a specs bump, the new Apple TV 4K has an improved remote and A12 Bionic chip.

That’s a decent jump from 2023’s A10X, and should help with gaming at 4K.

One nice feature, Apple is shipping a calibration tool to improve the Apple TV’s color presentation on your TV, using iPhone 12 sensors, if you have an iPhone 12 handy.

The 32GB version goes for $179, $199 for 64GB. 

You can also buy the new remote for $59 on its own, and it is backwards compatible, too.

Wednesday Weirdness

Just like CES each year and tech conferences around the world, auto shows tend to bring out amazing new ideas, wild new developments, and, well, concepts with varying degrees of usefulness, shall we say.

With in-person auto shows back in China, the Shanghai Auto Show has managed to return things back to its weird and wonderful equilibrium.

Now, to be fair, a bunch of cars at auto shows tend to be concepts that are never put into production. 

They explore ideas, get attention, show future concepts …and can’t move under their own power.

“Jing directly translates from Chinese as whale, and the company says the car follows a philosophy called Emotional Rhythm.”

…always wanted to drive a whale! 

Cheers,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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Daily Authority: 📱 Pixel Perfect

Google

☀️ Good morning! Paula here again, covering for Tristan — he’s back with you tomorrow. This morning I discovered the delights of miso butter with eggs on toast. Yum!

Google I/O: Here’s everything you missed

Google

Google’s marathon two-hour keynote yesterday unveiled a whole heap of hardware, software, and more. If you missed it, watch it here, or just catch up quickly with our roundup of everything Google announced.

Pixel 6a launch

Starting with the highly anticipated Pixel 6a release:

First: It looks a lot like a Pixel 6, but it’s only covered with Gorilla Glass 3, with a plastic back, and cuts some features to keep pricing low.

There’s a slightly smaller 6.1-inch display, with a rather disappointing 60Hz refresh rate, 128GB of onboard storage, no microSD card slot, and 6GB of RAM, plus the same cameras as the Pixel 5a.

Also, a 4,410mAh battery, with Adaptive Battery promising all-day power, but again, disappointing 18W charging power, which isn’t up to scratch with other mid-range phones in the market.

Good news: Google Tensor under the hood, the same processor as the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, plus sub-6Ghz and mmWave 5G.

Available for pre-order July 21 for $449, on general sale July 28 — and it’s coming to India too.

Pixel Watch preview

Google

Google Pixel Watch

Though we didn’t get a full-on Pixel Watch launch, we got a preview of Google’s long-rumored first flagship wearable:

There’s no rectangular option, instead, it’s a sleek, round watch case with a rotating digital crown and customizable bands.

There’s support for Google Assistant, relaunched Google Wallet, and the Google Home app, plus an LTE model so you can use these features without your phone nearby.

Looks like it won’t work with iPhones, only Android phones running Android 8 and above.

The Pixel Watch is arriving this fall, alongside the Pixel 7.

Pixel tablet

Google

We also got a first peek at Google’s first Android tablet in almost seven years.

The Pixel tablet will run on Google’s Tensor silicon, likely the second-generation version which will debut inside the Pixel 7 this fall.

According to Rick Osterloh, Google SVP of Devices and Services, it’ll be on the “larger side,” and though no word of pricing yet, it’ll apparently be a “premium” tablet so don’t expect it to be cheap.

Our peek showed a camera positioned in the middle of the landscape bezel, like the Galaxy Tab S series, which should make video calls more natural, plus a single rear camera and USB-C port flanked by two speakers.

It’ll get a full reveal and retail release in 2023.

Everything else hardware

Google

Still with us? Here’s what else we saw yesterday:

The Pixel Buds Pro, Google’s first Pixel buds with ANC, plus a more powerful chipset, available to pre-order from July 21 and on general sale July 28 for $199.

A Pixel 7 preview: It’s coming in fall, with a next-generation Tensor SoC and Android 13, plus we got some glimpses of the phone.

Live translation glasses

Google

Definitely worth a mention here — right at the end of the keynote we got a peek at Google’s new AR smart glasses

 Digital Trends’ Andy Boxall called them “life-changing” but pointed out we don’t know if they’ll ever be released as an actual product.

Their live translation feature uses augmented reality and AI (plus possible embedded mics and cameras) to see a person speaking to you, listen to what they’re saying, translate it, and display the translation like subtitles on the translucent screens in the glasses frames.

No, this isn’t Google Glass 3, but it did blow our minds a bit.

As a researcher pointed out in the video, it’s “Kind of like subtitles for the world.”

They looked pretty much like normal glasses too.

Software

Lots here to unpack but we’ll focus on the main stuff:

A bunch of Wear OS news, including a promise Google Assistant’s coming “soon” to the Galaxy Watch 4 series.

Android 13 updates including expanded support for the RCS texting standard and the option for multilingual users to set specific apps to use specific languages — e.g. Tweet in French and search in German.

Google Wallet’s relaunch — yup, it’s basically the same as Google Pay, but will support digital IDs including, soon, driver’s licenses.

Google Lens’ Scene Exploration feature which basically overlays useful info on top of products you point your camera at, could be a big shopping time-saver but no precise timescale for when we’ll see it in the real world yet.

A new Near Me feature for Multisearch, taking your location into account when Multisearching to find shops, restaurants, etc near you based on photos and text.

Immersive View in Google Maps lets you move around in a CGI-rendered 3D space, even seeing inside restaurants and bars, though not 100% accurate as based on user photos and filled in with Google’s algorithms — rolling out in “select cities” this year.

That’s about it!

Roundup

On this day in 2005, the Xbox 360 was unveiled on MTV, later launched across the US and Canada on November 22 that same year (December 2 in Europe). We think you’ll agree the video is just a bit cringe.

In 2009, IGN named the Xbox 360 the sixth-greatest video console of all time (the NES took the top spot).

The video makes me feel a bit nostalgic, with the Gorillaz, super-young Elijah Wood, and the old iPod silhouette commercial.

Plus, the Pimp My Ride guys. Remember that show? And the game? I’m showing my age now.

“Before we take a step into the future, we have to see how gaming got to this level.” I’m not quite old enough to remember Pong, but give me a Sega Genesis (we called it the Mega Drive here in the UK) and a copy of Altered Beast any day.

Did you know Call of Duty 2 was the Xbox 360’s best-selling game in 2005, selling over a million copies? Today that figure seems low, with hits like Spider Man: Miles Morales selling over 6.5 million copies on PlayStation 5.

Nostalgically,

Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.

Daily Authority: 👉 Small Android Phone?

Apple

🌲 Good morning! Keep reading for weird redwood leaves…

He’s also 6’6″.

And despite being a big unit, he wants to make and use a small Android phone as his daily driver.

He says, on his website chúng tôi quote:

“I love small phones because they:

fits [sic] nicely in pocket

are much lighter

are easy to use one-handed without dropping

won’t fall out of my pocket while bicycling”

Also, Eric Migicovsky doesn’t like iOS, preferring the flexibility of Android, which rules out the iPhone Mini. And, he basically ywants an iPhone 13 Mini but running Android, and says a price of around $700-800 is the ballpark.

Maybe you agree with this. Maybe you’re good with a 6.8-inch large phone, of which there are many.

But if you do, Eric is taking names.

For this project to get off the ground, at least 50,000 interested buyers need to turn up — a number he says will be enough to convince a manufacturer to build and sell a small Android phone.

If you’re interested in expressing support, there’s a form you can fill out that just seeks some basic, non-binding information.

Apparently, 6,000 people have signed up already.

Takeaways:

The biggest problem with smaller smartphones has been battery life: less room means less space for all those mAh you need, even on the iPhone mini.

Migicovsky acknowledges this: but the size matters most. Quote: “The drawbacks of a small phone (smaller screen, smaller battery) are fundamentally less of an issue than the size, for me at least.”

He wants a flagship spec small smartphone with something like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 powering it.

Realistically, that’s a problem. There’s a trade-off between high-end flagship processors and battery life.

It’s possible something like a slightly lower-tier Snapdragon 7 series (which may be announced in China on Friday?) would offer a better deal on performance vs energy consumption.

But it’s all very early: the main thing you might want to take away here is that Eric has a pretty good industry reputation, including former Pebble employees saying he was a good dude.

And this sort of from-the-ground-up approach to a new phone harkens back to the realms of the early smartphone and connected device industry.

But it’s a long way from a bunch of risk-free signups to an actual good device at a reasonable price.

Final thought: at least two of the reasons Eric wants a small phone are solved by clamshell foldables like the Samsung Z Flip 3. It fits in a pocket pretty well! I’d like to hear why a foldable doesn’t work (other than the expense, which is fair!).

Roundup

Weirdness Wednesday

At times like this I want to go back and study biology to figure out what’s going on, but here’s the gist: Redwoods grow weird leaves to suck water from air (Scientific American).

Trees managing to get some water from a humid environment has been thought to be a fact for some years.

But as one of the team behind a new study said, “No one ever really figured out how the water gets in there.”

What a study published in the American Journal of Botany seems to show is that redwoods grow special leaves that absorb a lot more water, and the trees adapt depending on their environment.

“The study found that redwoods in drier, southern areas have more axial shoots that are located higher up than on northern trees, which helps the former pull extra water from summer fog and light rain. Other tree species may have similarly specialized shoots; pines, for example, have two types that might be analogous to those on redwoods”

In the image below, the asparagus-like leaf on the right absorbs water “at about four times the rate of ordinary-looking “peripheral” shoots.”

Cheers,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

Daily Authority: Battery Life Battles 🔋

All these years later, while battery technology has improved, the demands on battery life are higher than ever: huge displays with higher refresh rates, 5G modems, higher-powered devices, larger silicon, more cameras, and so on.

On the other hand, ROMs are better at load management, and SoC design has more low-powered CPUs available in newer models.

There’s also more careful charging, where batteries are loaded to 80% to extend lifetimes over the years, even if it means a few hours less standby time or screen-on time in use.

Fast charging at higher wattages has also been one of the answers: 

There’s no increase to how long your phone goes without a charge.

But if you only need a few minutes of plugged-in time to add 50% or more, you have fewer range concerns.

The problem:

Ultra-fast charging solutions will affect battery health over time.

The problem is chemistry: Faster charging generates more heat, which can more rapidly degrade elements of the battery chemistry, particularly in the electrodes.

No matter how many battery breakthroughs there are, most come with trade-offs around long-term battery life, how much charge can be stored, and so on. So many breakthroughs at a lab level don’t make it to production due to expense or yield problems.

We all remember the Note 7 disaster, and on a larger scale, the current GM’s Chevy Bolt battery fallout with LG (Ars Technica).

Risk aversion is a very real thing for manufacturers, from smartphones to EVs.

Speaking of: there’s been a breakthrough in battery technology thanks to sugar: Australian scientists have found that by using a glucose-based additive on the positive electrode (cathode) they have managed to stabilize lithium-sulfur battery technology. That could make batteries 2-4x more efficient, but development will take some five years or so (Tech Xplore).

Xiaomi’s latest:

Xiaomi is set to launch the Mi 11T series this week, a day after the next iPhone launch. 

The iPhone will probably stick with 18W wired charging as in the iPhone 12, though it could get a speed boost.

Xiaomi is bringing 120W wired charging to the Mi 11T Pro, which will provide something like a charge from 0 to 100% in 23 minutes or so.

But that generates heat, and may mean your lovely flagship just won’t hold a charge within a year or two.

Xiaomi, though, has given a clear picture: Xiaomi’s head of communications, Daniel Desjarlais has said Mi 11T owners can expect 80% battery capacity after 800 charging cycles at these speeds, which is about two years of plug-in charges.

He said: “Now, that 20% might sound like ‘oh wow, I’m losing 20%,’ but that’s quite standard across basically all charging tech. 800 cycles, for most people, it’s going to be two years roughly. So that’s quite solid.”

Is it, though?

Slower charging definitely means less degradation. If you believe competitors, Oppo has previously claimed that its 65W wired charging solution, which is still very fast, loses 9% capacity after 800 charging cycles.

It’s a trade-off. The ideal situation would be super close management: sometimes all you have is a few minutes to charge. Most times you’ll just charge overnight, though.

Roundup

🍎 To catch you up if you missed it: The Epic v. Apple trial saw Epic largely fail to prove Apple was unfairly monopolizing apps with its App Store rules, saying “success is not illegal,” with complications around the arguments centering on video games, not apps, meaning Apple won 9/10 claims. Epic had a win in terms of Apple no longer being able to force developers to use in-app purchases, which is something, and may see similar from Google in time on the Play Store (Android Authority). But Apple keeps its 30% tax, and doesn’t have to change its rules around third-party app stores, both much, much bigger problems than an alternative payment setup. But, the case moves on: Epic has filed an appeal against Apple with the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and Apple may appeal the one major decision against it, too (The Verge). Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has been tweeting, too (Twitter). The Vergehas a detailed look at the rules, credit to them for following the case so closely.

📉 The Realme 9 series is only coming in 2023 due to the chip shortage (Android Authority).

🧱 Import a Xiaomi phone? Look out, the company is disabling some imported devices, though custom ROMs are helping (Android Authority).

📅 Android 12 stable release date looks set for October 4, not during September (Android Authority).

🔒 WhatsApp will add support for encrypted message backups, which, in part, closes a loophole law enforcement used to view WhatsApp messages from backups (Android Authority).

📉 Nintendo lowers Switch price across Europe ahead of OLED model, dropping about 10%. No word on US yet (The Verge).

📺 Stop mounting your TVs above the fireplace: Why it’s actually a terrible idea (CNET).

🍏 Apple has put out an official tech support note saying: Don’t attach your iPhone to motorcycles, mopeds, or scooters if you want the camera to last, as it can damage the gyroscope in the optical image stabilization. I’ve seen motorcyclists discuss this before, and there’s an industry devoted to vibration dampening, but some makes of smartphones are affected worse than others… (Gizmodo).

🎫You can now buy a $475 NFT ticket to see Beeple’s $69 million NFT at an IRL party (The Verge).

👟 Vienna Marathon winner disqualified for wearing banned shoes (Bloomberg).

📦 California Senate passes warehouse workers bill, taking aim at Amazon (Ars Technica).

🤔 A billionaire wants to build a brand new city in the American desert (The Hustle).

👂 “Why did it take 16 hours for the first message to cross the atlantic via a cable?” (r/askscience).

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Daily Authority: ⚖ Qualcomm And Arm Face Off

Kris Carlon / Android Authority

😾 Good morning! Have you ever tried giving eye drops to a cat? We’ve had to start doing this as our feline is recovering from a minor eye ailment. Thank goodness she doesn’t choose violence, but it’s still a two-person job.

Chip giants call to Arms

Kris Carlon / Android Authority

A major news story broke late yesterday when Arm announced that it was suing Qualcomm and its subsidiary Nuvia. This could have long-term repercussions for both the mobile and Arm PC space.

Qualcomm is a major chipmaker in the mobile and computing spaces thanks to its Snapdragon family of processors.

The company used to rely on custom CPU designs for its flagship smartphone processors but switched to semi-custom CPU tech based on Arm IP in 2023.

In other words, it went from designing its own CPU tech to taking Arm’s existing CPU designs and tweaking them.

However, Qualcomm officially acquired Nuvia last year as part of a plan to return to using custom CPU technology. 

Nuvia was formed by former Apple chip engineers and initially focused on Arm-powered datacenter processors. You can read about them over here.

But Qualcomm sees Nuvia as a key tool that will help it beat Apple’s processors in the computer and smartphone spaces.

After all, Apple’s processors, particularly in the computer segment, have been miles ahead of Qualcomm’s chips. 

And yes, current Qualcomm computer chips are based on Arm CPU technology.

Spanner in the works

Arm’s announcement of a lawsuit might throw a spanner into the Qualcomm/Nuvia works. 

Arm said in a statement that Qualcomm and Nuvia breached “certain license agreements” and committed trademark infringement.

Arm asserts that the two companies should “destroy certain Nuvia designs” per a contractual agreement.

The release alleges Qualcomm tried to transfer Nuvia’s Arm licenses without Arm’s consent.

However, Arm also claimed that Nuvia’s licenses for Arm tech expired in March 2023, presumably due to Nuvia’s acquisition.

Arm says Qualcomm therefore “breached the terms of the Arm license agreement by continuing development under the terminated licenses.”

A source dished out more details to Android Authority, echoing some of Arm’s claims.

The source reiterated that Qualcomm would be required to destroy certain Nuvia designs and start over if Arm didn’t give consent for the next phase of development.

It seems consent wasn’t forthcoming for this next phase but that the chip designs remained the same.

Arm’s Phil Hughes also told Android Authority that Nuvia’s Arm licenses barred the startup from being acquired without Arm’s consent.

It’s alleged that Arm’s consent wasn’t sought for Qualcomm to acquire Nuvia.

What next for Qualcomm and Nuvia?

Qualcomm asserted that Arm has no right, “contractual or otherwise,” to interfere with company efforts.

“Arm’s complaint ignores the fact that Qualcomm has broad, well-established license rights covering its custom-designed CPUs, and we are confident those rights will be affirmed,” the company added.

Qualcomm was planning to start sampling the first PC chips with Nuvia CPUs to OEMs in H2 2023, with device launches slated for 2023.

If Arm gets its way and forces Nuvia to destroy some CPU designs, this timeline could be thrown out of the window.

Qualcomm would be forced to keep using its current PC chips. This wouldn’t be ideal as these chips have a reputation for being underpowered compared to Apple’s SoCs.

We’re also expecting Nuvia CPUs to arrive in smartphones after the first Nuvia laptop chips launch, but this timeline could theoretically be pushed back too.

Here’s hoping Arm and Qualcomm reach a resolution that doesn’t involve any major delays, as this could put the Windows-on-Arm and Android ecosystems as a whole on the backfoot compared to Apple.

For what it’s worth, Nuvia was previously under fire from Apple after the Cupertino giant filed a lawsuit against it.

Roundup

Thursday Thing

Amazon has Amazon Prime, but it turns out Disney is considering a similar concept. The Wall Street Journal reports that Disney is exploring its own membership program, citing people familiar with discussions.

The program is referred to as Disney Prime internally, although that apparently won’t be the final name.

Still, the name does serve perhaps as evidence of the Amazon Prime inspiration.

The idea is to offer discounts and perks for streaming, merchandise, theme parks, and resorts.

Disney confirmed to WSJ that it was exploring the idea of a membership program, without further details.

The company is apparently working to bring merch buying integration to Disney Plus as well.

Either way, it seems like membership programs are the next digital frontier. Even Walmart offers Walmart Plus, complete with Paramount Plus streaming.

Have a great day!

Hadlee Simons, Editor.

Daily Authority: ✨ New Tablets From Google And Oneplus

Google

🥶 Happy Friday everyone! There’s a cold wave in Europe right now, which means temperatures have dropped all the way to the low teens Celsius (or the 50s  in Fahrenheit) here in Sunny Malaga. That’s nothing compared to most places in the world, but you better believe that I’m going to wear my heaviest coat and complain about it.

More leaks for a Pixel Tablet Pro

Google

It’s been a while since we’ve seen or heard anything concrete about Google’s Pixel Tablet, which was announced alongside the Pixel 7 lineup back in May of 2023. Now, more leaks are suggesting that the Pixel Tablet Pro, which we first heard about in December of last year, will be coming to market later this year.

These new leaks come courtesy of Code-digger Kuba Wojciechowski, who is the same source as the previous leaks.

According to the leaker, Google initially started working on the Pixel Tablet with the original Tensor chip, and this “Pro” model will use the second-gen Tensor G2 chip.

At the moment, that appears to be the only difference between the two.

He also revealed that the code indicates a 2,560 x 1,600 LED screen, so likely no OLEDs to be found here.

Wojciechowski also revealed new photos of the device, although they don’t show anything new or interesting.

The renders show a large tablet with relatively large bezels (compared to what OnePlus has shown so far).

We can also see a large, circular camera housing in the center of the device when held in landscape.

The selfie camera is also in the top center when held in landscape.

It’s believed that it will measure 11.6 inches, which would make it one of the largest tablets on the market.

Will it compete with the best Android tablets? Hard to say at this point.

To learn more, we’ll likely have to wait until the official event on February 7, where the company will also reveal the OnePlus 11.

📱 Miss a removable battery, microSD slot, and 3.5mm port? This phone is for you (Android Authority).

😱 Q4 2023 was a disaster for smartphone sales, with the largest-ever drop (Arstechnica).

📸 You told us: Most of you think the Pixel needs more camera accessories (Android Authority).

🤔 Why are so many tech companies laying people off right now? Hint: it has nothing to do with revenue (The Verge).

🎮 What old video games still hold up? The correct answer is Heroes of Might and Magic III (r/askreddit).

Friday fun

Anti-insect lasers have been a thing for a while now, but the Institute of Laser Engineering at Osaka University is taking things to the next level. While previous models have mostly aimed at small pests like mosquitos, this new laser is capable of taking down larger insects like flies, moths, and cockroaches.

It does this not just with a powerful laser, but with a more accurate one. Scientists studied the weak points of the creatures (which, unlike in video games, do not glow red), pinpointing the thorax and face for a high-precision strike. This is a big deal for pesticide-resistant pests, not to mention cutting down on harsh chemicals in farming. For domestic use, it’s also a modern replacement for a rolled-up newspaper. This is what the future looks like.

Pew pew,

Nick Fernandez, Editor.

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